We’ve been talking a lot about the struggles bands faced this year due to COVID cutting short their only means to make a profit, touring! And one band that was hit hard and heavy by the pandemic was Make Them Suffer who found out the news whilst on tour in Europe and, in a weird state of panic, they had to drop everything and return home before the borders closed.
That’s where it all started and, as we know now, the rest of the year stopped for the band who didn’t get a chance to hit the road in celebration of their stellar new album How To Survive A Funeral (our review here). MTS are one of those bands who have a worldwide following and when you can’t play shows across the globe, it can impact immensely on your mental health.
Frontman Sean Harmanis joins our Wall of Sound Year In Review series to discuss his year, how COVID hit the band and their new release + the impact it had on him personally. Its these moments that make us realise we’re all very similar underneath it all and we need to continuously support the art/bands/music we love and adore…
TOP 5 RELEASES OF 2020?
Alpha Wolf – A Quiet Place to Die
The Acacia Strain – Slow Decay
Emmure – Hindsight
Loathe – I Let It in And It Took Everything
Nothing – The Great Dismal
TOP 5 SONGS OF 2020?
The Acacia Strain – ‘Feed a Pigeon, Breed a Rat’
Polaris – ‘Hypermania’
Ocean Grove – ‘Dream’
Nothing – ‘Catch a Fade’
Spiritbox – Holy Roller (feat. Ryo Kinoshita)
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2020?
Nothing – ‘Bernie Sanders’
LAST GIG YOU PLAYED BEFORE COVID?
It was some gig in the middle of our European Tour. We were literally mid-tour, when at 2am, After the Burial showed us that the US was closing their borders and that everyone had to go home. I thought it was a joke when someone first said “Tour’s Cancelled”. “Haha, yeah, good one” I thought!
How wrong I was…
HOW DID COVID AFFECT YOU/YOUR BAND?
Well, before Covid I was working in a hotel, living in Melbourne, I am now doing neither of those things. As for the band; well, it definitely sucked putting out an album that we weren’t able to profit on. Albums are expensive and generally, you recoup your losses on touring (because who really makes money from Spotify). Not only that, but we’ve all had to make some very serious life changes in order to keep going.
Overall, although it sucks, I’m trying to see the positives. I think I’ve gained a lot in terms of knowledge and experience through the year, more so than any other year of my adult life. I think that has to count for something.
BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF IN 2020?
I’m both the smartest and dumbest person I know.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2021?
I cannot wait to see all the amazing new music and enterprise that comes in 2021. If I can say anything, it’s that I want everyone to remember that the year is going to be extremely saturated with new music, new businesses and new ways of life. It’s going to be an overwhelming amount of content to absorb and support, and I encourage everyone to please give as much as they can to new music in 2021.
Whether it be a gig, merch or album, by buying and supporting as much as we can, we will ensure that we keep this industry afloat.
Wise Words by Sean Harmanis. Insta: @seanharmanis
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